Articles


The American Scholar
"Off the Beat" (Ralph Ellison) Summer 2001
The Atlantic Monthly
"Chameleon with a Toupee" (Bobby Darin) January-February 2005
"Wynton's Blues" March 2003
BookForum
"Persian Miniatures" (Marjane Satrapi) October-November 2004
Columbia Journalism Review
"Not for Laughs" (Percy Crosby) March-April 2011
"Condition Critical," January-February 2009
"Appetite for Fear," January-February 2008
The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Rising Above the Rat Pack" (Sammy Davis, Jr.) November 23, 2003
Mother Jones
"Pete Seeger's Last War" October 2004
"Who's Got the Blues?" September/October 2003
The New Republic
"Remember Beauty" (Maria Schneider) May 26, 2014
"Seldom Never On" (George Jones) June 4, 2013
"Without Category" (John Hollenbeck) April 8, 2013
"Principia Electronica" (Electronic Dance Music) December 7, 2012
"Imperfect Pitch" (Autotune) December 7, 2012
"Billboard Goddesses" April 20, 2012
"How to Win Friends and Influence People...with Chaucer" January 9, 2012
"Oohs and Aahs" November 9, 2011
"A Spell Deferred" (Nina Simone) August 18, 2011
"La Vie en Punk" (Edith Piaf) July 21, 2011
"The Afterplace" (Paul Simon) June 9, 2011
"The Wee Small Facts" (Frank Sinatra) December 23, 2010
"Memphis on Broadway" September 2, 2010
"End the Bequine" (Artie Shaw) June 4, 2010
"Triumph of the Gypsies" (Django Reinhardt) April 21, 2010
"Pretending" (Guitar Hero and Rock Band) Dec. 2, 2009
"Music in the Meltdown" June 3, 2009
"Keys to the Kingdom" (Michel Petrucciani) March 18, 2009
Pop Women" (Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Lucinda Williams) Feb. 4, 2009
"Get Back" (John Lennon) October 22, 2008
"Breakout" (Alejandro Escovedo) August 13, 2008
"I Me Mine" (Open-Source Remixing) March 12, 2008
"The Sound of One Hand Composing" (Philip Glass) January 30, 2008
"They Paved Paradise" (Joni Mitchell) November 5, 2007
"Stolen Moments" (Abbey Lincoln and Mark Murphy) September 10, 2007
"Stolen Moments" (Abbey Lincoln and Mark Murphy) September 10, 2007
"TzadDik" (John Zorn) June 8, 2007
"Songbook Jam" (Mos Def) March 19, 2007
"Ye Olde Rocker" (Sting) January 29, 2007
"Heroine" (Anita O'Day) December 25, 2006
"The Lonesome Road" (Susannah McCorkle) October 16, 2006
"The Music of Starbucks" August 7, 2006
"The Producers" (Rick Rubin and Kanye West) May 29, 2006
"Instant Gratification: What MySpace Did to Music" March 6, 2006
"McCartney III" December 26, 2005
"Jumble Jumble" (White Stripes) July 25, 2005
"Heart Music" (Fred Hersch and Walt Whitman) May 16, 2005
"A Nice Young Man" (Josh Groban) March 7, 2005
"Unchained Heart" (Ray Charles) December 13, 2004
"God Only Knows" (Brian Wilson's Smile) October 25, 2004
"The Blogging of American Pop" September 6, 2004
"Where Has 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone' Gone?" June 28, 2004
"The iPod Blues" March 29, 2004
"The Body Eclectic" Feb. 9, 2004
"Tramps Like Who?" (Bruce Springsteen) December 15, 2003
"This Year's Model" (Elvis Costello) October 6, 2003
""Ain't No Mountain" (Motown) September 1, 2003
"Authenticity Blues" (Alan Lomax) June 16, 2002
The New York Review Of Books
"The Royal Blues" (Dinah Washington) June 23, 2005
"Hustling Elvis" (Col. Tom Parker) Oct. 9, 2003
"Comics for Grown-Ups" (Daniel Clowes and Joe Sacco) Aug. 14, 2003
"He Took Manhattan" (Richard Rodgers) Aug. 15, 2002
"The Spirit of the Spirit" (Will Eisner) June 20, 2001
"Not Quite All That Jazz" (Ken Burns' Jazz) Feb. 8, 2001
"Fascinatin' Rhythm" (Harry Partch) July 20, 2000
The New Yorker
"Folk Hero" (Woody Guthrie) March 29, 2004
"Birthday of the Cool" (Benny Waters) Mar. 11, 1996
The New York Times Book Review
" "Bebop"" (Charlie Parker) Dec. 6, 2013
" '80s Pop" (Cyndi Lauper) Nov. 30, 2012
"Paul Nelson: Bad Boy Rock Critic" Dec. 23, 2011
"Stormy Weather" (Ethel Waters) Feb. 27, 2011
"God Gets Graphic" (Robert Crumb's "Genesis") Oct. 25, 2009
"Blues Capitalist" (W. C. Handy) May 10, 2009
"Music Lessons" (John Adams) Oct. 26, 2008
"Jazz Man" (Nathaniel Mackey) Feb. 24, 2008
"Stars and Strips Dec. 3, 2006
"Art Spiegelman Without the Towers" Sept. 12, 2004
"The Life and Death of Cool" (Chet Baker) June 30, 2002
"Jerry's Kids" Jan. 17, 1999
"Yankee Doodle Dandy" (James Cagney) Dec. 7, 1997
The New York Times Magazine
"Giant Steps" (Fred Hersch) Jan. 31, 2010
"His Mad World" (Will Elder) Dec. 28, 2008
"Queer As Folk" Aug. 18, 2002
"Things Are What They Used to Be" Dec. 31, 2000
"When Wrestling Was Noir" Jan. 2, 2000
"Rhapsody in Black and White" (Herbie Hancock and George Gershwin) Oct. 25, 1998
The New York Times/Op-Ed
"Forever Young? In Some Ways, Yes" (Bob Dylan) May 23, 2011
"Exploring the Universe, One B-Movie at a Time" (Star Trek) May 10, 2009
"Tenor of the Times" Sept. 8, 2007
"We Are a Camera" Oct. 15, 2006
"Guns and Poses" Mar. 11, 2005
"Those Glorious Pre-D├ętente Days Sept. 26, 1998
The New York Times
"His Kind of River" March 22, 2009
"In a Famous Brother's Shadow" June 6, 1999
"Jazz Is Not What They're Famous For" June 28, 1998
Rolling Stone
"Waking the Dead" Sept. 8, 2005
Vanity Fair
"Bound for Glory," May 2001
"Billy and the Duke" May 1999
The Village Voice
"The King of Croon" (Bing Crosby) Mar. 6, 2001
"Something to Live For" June 23, 1992